I read with great interest the column by Wong Chun Wai on involving private hospitals to run a parallel vaccination programme.
I fully support the view that private hospitals should be allowed to procure their own vaccines, as approved by the NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency).
Private hospitals can have their own strategy without interfering with the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme. They can complement the programme so that we will be able to achieve herd immunity much faster.
No one needs to cast any aspersions on their efforts. Their target would be to start a private initiative only in June, after the government starts Phase Two. I think this public-private vaccination initiative should be welcomed by the government, and not be viewed as an effort to dismantle the national vaccination programme.
Employers would then be able to help workers in key industries such as logistics, oil and gas, security and transportation to be vaccinated.
Some countries have already started, or are planning, to allow private hospitals to initiate their own plans to expedite the vaccination rollout.
We hope the government will keep an open mind on this, as it would not encroach on the government’s supply of vaccines.
Dr Ismail Merican is a hepatologist and internal medicine specialist, and former Health director-general.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.